Shadow Boxing With Weights – Does It Help?


Shadow boxing with weights is a method that many boxers use to improve their strength and speed of attacks. However, is this as effective as people said? Or will it easily cause injuries and affect your performances? To find out the answer, keep reading our article for more information.

Will Shadow Boxing With Weights Increase Hand Speed and Punching Power?

Shadow boxing with weights will not help with your hand strength and speed.

Shadow Boxing With Weights Is Only An Exercise:

Weightlifting exercises are common ways to increase the muscles of gymers; you can flexibly customize activities for each muscle group on the body. Besides, you don’t need to lift or pull them in only one direction.

Since your body needs to work for lifting weights and control movements, your muscles will be more balanced and focused on all parts to control activity.

For shadow boxing with dumbbells, the essence of this is to increase the muscle strength and general body strength, not the speed boost of the punches. However, if you don’t have an excellent physical foundation, practicing shadow boxing with weights will help your overall strength.

If you’re already a muscular athlete, we have to say that doing boxing with dumbbells won’t benefit you.

Furthermore, dumbbells will make the punches falling downwards due to gravity. Shadow Boxing exercises with dumbbells can cause significant injuries to the shoulder blades. Therefore, weightlifting is one of the “deadly” mistakes when doing boxing that you should limit or avoid altogether.

Affects Your Boxing Technique

Lifting weights will limit the speed and the endurance of the fighter, which can cause the muscles to become rigid and quickly exhausted. 

The more muscles, the stronger the bones will produce the stronger attack. What makes shadow boxing with weights become a mistake is when you eventually increase the weight once you reach a certain level.

Strong punches are dependent on the hand as it is responsible for leading all the force from other muscle groups into the fists and returning them to the opponent. Moreover, to get a strong enough punch to damage an opponent, you need to have techniques and skills. 

When you get used to practicing shadow boxing with heavyweights, your muscles will automatically adjust punch angle and punching force to match dumbbells. 

Mess Up Your Punching Timing:

You need to take a few seconds to gather strength before you start lifting weights. When you get on the ring, you must punch as fast as you can. Moreover, boxers also need to focus on quick blows with severe damage to win. For martial arts that require speed as boxing, heavyweights don’t help launch a sharp punch.

A hand with good recoil and agility is much better than a pair of heavily muscled hands. That doesn’t mean you should underestimate muscles since the muscle size for the whole body’s force is enormous. 

The force from the whole body is like a plumbing system. When the shoulder, back, legs create a force, your hand’s muscles must be strong enough to force the push. Therefore, the best way will be to train large muscles to get used to it.

How To Add Resistance To Shadow Boxing With Weights?

Practicing shadow boxing with dumbbells is not a good idea. However, in some cases, it is necessary to increase hand weight when exercising. We’ll suggest a few ways to optimize your physical strength and techniques.

Shadowboxing With 1-3lb Weights

If you only punch with force from your arms, you will never be able to maximize your strength. Try to combine the muscles and bodyweight to perform a powerful punch.

Adding light weights of 1-3lbs will help the muscles create enough strength for the punch, combining the body’s synchronous movement into a powerful punch. However, keep in mind that it is essential to lift and lower gently to avoid hurting your arms and palms.

Elastic-band Punching

The elastic band is a training tool that will make you put more effort into one activity. It gives you all-round strength training and results in less severe injuries.

Using speed bands while exercising for boxing can dramatically improve strength in the legs, hips, and core area. They force those muscles to work harder and grow stronger. Hence, your natural punches will be stronger and faster.

The resistance tapes are an excellent addition for anyone, from professional greats to amateurs. They have various degrees of elasticity, from heavy to light.

Punching Underwater

Water puts pressure on the body when moving, which helps enhance muscle endurance and strength. It is beneficial for the upper body parts, like the back muscles, to push the fists forward, the shoulder muscles lift the arms, the back muscles, and the intercostal muscles to rotate the body. 

One more way to take advantage of the aquatic environment is to immerse yourself in the water completely. Hold your breath, and your body will get used to being active in low air conditions—this method beneficial for counter-attacks when the boxer has been injured or heavily attacked in the chest.

While in the water, your body tends to float due to the air inside. Make sure you stand firm to stabilize the punch.

Shadowboxing With LIGHT Weights vs HEAVY Weights:

The answer may surprise you as it depends on what goals you are aiming for: If you’re exercising for strength, use as heavyweights as possible. If it is for improving muscle endurance, use weights of 1-3lbs. For safety, consulting with a trainer to get their advice will be the best.


Many people are mistaken that the more heavy the weight lift is, the stronger the arm, the hand, and the punch. However, it does not guarantee more power for the punch in practice. We do not recommend you to practice shadow boxing with weights. Instead, apply some of the other ways above to both train strength and improve your boxing techniques.

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